A new plaque was unveiled at Borough Road War Memorial on 3 March 2023 by the 57th Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow, Councillor Raghwinder Siddhu. He was accompanied by residents, pupils (including talented bugler, Max), staff and trustees of Isleworth and Syon School, former Borough Road College lecturer, John Hunter, and Osterley and Spring Grove Ward Councillors Tony Louki, Unsa Chaudri and Aftab Siddiqui.
It records the names of former Borough Road College staff and students who gave up their jobs and education to take part in World War I and World War II, killed and never returned.
The installation features an engraving and faces Lancaster House, the main college building vacated in 2006, nine years after its takeover by Brunel University, and crest of the college.
I raised the idea for this new plaque in 2018 because the names of those who perished were not visible locally as Brunel University had previously removed an indoor memorial to its Uxbridge campus. During 2015, Brunel had made approaches to Hounslow Council to completely relocate the whole, almost 100 years old stone memorial too but this failed as it was strongly resisted by all Ward councillors at the time.
This memorial project also coincides with the installation of a rediscovered and then refurbished lamppost of the former Heston and Isleworth Borough Council, restored and recently installed by Hounslow Highways.
The names of the dead were shared by the Brunel University London Archives whose 2014 research is available via a QR code present on the plaque allowing access of detailed biographies of those named.
I am grateful to Miss Helen Bowman, Conservation Officer at the War Memorials Trust, whose sound advice helped us bat away Brunel’s cheeky claim; Vanessa Bevilacqua and colleagues from the Hounslow Council Transport Team for procuring the plaque; Sabeel Khan of the Hounslow Council Highways PFI Team for overseeing Hounslow Highways’ renewal and connecting of the light column; Hounslow Council Communications Team’s Mr Yagnesh Nakaraja for sharing pictures.